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The Beardcicle Chronicles, Episode One

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The Beardcicle Chronicles

Welcome to the Beardcicle Chronicles.

Beardcicles. What are they?

Beardcicles, simply put, are those icy growths that men get on their beards when the right combination of cold and humidity exists. I like to call a good set of beardcicles a marker of a good day.

I think we all know what a chronicle is. If not, look it up.

I work in an office. I used to work out of doors as a carpenter. Working indoors in an office is not conducive to growing beardcicles. It is, however, conducive to chronicling things in order to avoid actually working on office-type stuff.

To get back to my roots and build my beardcicle-growing prowess, I started commuting to work by bike back in 2010. September of 2010, to be precise. When I moved to Anchorage from the Outside.

I wasn’t militant about the whole commute-by-bike thing at first. Then I was. Now I’m not. These are all stories to tell in due time.

I haven’t driven myself to work in probably eight or nine months now. Before that it was almost two years. Rain or shine, snow or sleet, I am out in it riding my bike. I like it. It keeps me grounded or something.

In June of this year I moved to the Valley. Not quite Palmer and not ‘the Siller’. Obviously, I can’t ride to Anchorage every work day by bike. That’s just silly.

So I changed things up a bit and threw a bus into the spokes. I ride my bike to the bus stop, then ride the bus to Anchorage, then ride my bike to my office. It works for me.

Some strange things have happened since I started commuting multimodally. I’ve started to think more about transportation, and the transportation options that are available to folks in South Central and how our transportation issues relate to the larger issues of transportation in Alaska, as well as elsewhere.

I’ve started to think about the public perception of mass transit users and how this prevents many from using mass transit. I’ve started to be more aware of the issues pedestrians, cyclists, and mass transit users face in the daily struggle just to get to work, let alone run errands or whatever life tasks they have to attend to.

This column, then, will focus primarily on issues of transportation – particularly alternate transportation. I’ll provide tips for commuting alternately, observations of the ridiculousness that I see around this city while experiencing it by bike and bus, some discussion of the politics of transportation, and whatever else I decide to spout off about. I’ll be snarky. I’ll be sincere. I’ll be so full of crap that you’ll be able to smell me through the vast sewer system we call the interwebz.

And if you are all good little readers, I might even gift you with some mad beardcicle pictures. Just you wait.

Read more from Phil B. on his blog, Multimodal Alaska Adventures.